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National Parks Traveler Podcast
15 minutes | Jun 27, 2011
NPTP 28 : Restoring Hetch Hetchy?
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Mike Marshall and Robert Hanna of Restore Hetch Hetchy.
27 minutes | Mar 15, 2011
NPTP 27 : Interview with Andrew Skurka
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Adam Skurka.
18 minutes | Nov 1, 2010
NPTP 26 : Stonewall Jackson's arm - Interview with John Hennessy
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews John Hennessy regarding Stonewall Jackson's arm.
16 minutes | Jun 13, 2010
NPTP 25 : Dr. Donna Shaver - Kemps Ridley Sea Turtles in the Gulf of Mexico
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Dr. Donna Shaver regarding the Kemps Ridley sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.
8 minutes | May 9, 2010
NPTP 24 : Senator Tom Udall - Promoting Our National Parks
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Senator Tom Udall regarding the promotion of our National Parks.
18 minutes | Apr 18, 2010
NPTP 22 : Trevor Thomas - First blind person to thru-hike the ATC unassisted
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Trevor Thomas, First blind person to thru-hike the ATC unassisted.
7 minutes | Apr 13, 2010
NPTP 21 : Gerard Baker - Associate Director for American Indian Relations
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Gerard Baker, Associate Director for American Indian Relations
21 minutes | Feb 14, 2010
NPTP 20 : 15 years since the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Doug Smith, project leader of gray wolf restoration in Yellowstone National Park.
18 minutes | Oct 13, 2009
NPTP 19 : Interview with Jon Jarvis
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Jon Jarvis, director of the National Parks Service
59 minutes | Oct 2, 2009
NPTP 18 : Climate Change Threatens Our National Parks - Conference Call With NRDC
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek Participates In Conference Call With NRDC
31 minutes | Sep 27, 2009
NPTP 17 : Interview with Ken Burns - The National Parks: "America's Best Idea"
National Parks Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek interviews Ken Burns
3 minutes | Dec 20, 2007
NPT 16 : Winter in Yellowstone National Park
Nearly every conversation that includes the words "Yellowstone" and "winter" also includes the words "snowmobiles." Well, for a change, I'd like to present this short 3 minute journey into the snowy winter season in Yellowstone National Park, that includes no snowmobiles! (You would have heard them had I left the audio unedited, but at least you want see any in this short movie.) Buffalo still roam, rivers still flow, but the entire place in winter is surrounded in mist and snow, which totally change the outlook on the landscape. And, as my colleague Rich Deline is heard to exclaim at the end of the video, the erupting geysers are pretty cool. This week marks the beginning of the winter visitation season in Yellowstone National Park. Thanks to Rich Deline who has generously made available to the National Parks Traveler some of his footage for us to enjoy.
5 minutes | Nov 30, 2007
NPT 15 : Fran Mainella Speaks About Snowmobiles and Science
SOUND: Snowmobiles in [url=http://www.nps.gov/yell]Yellowstone National Park[/url]. KURT: At a time when politics in Washington truly are a “contact sport,” we shouldn’t be too surprised when we learn that science has been trumped when it comes to decisions affecting the national park system. Should we be disappointed? Of course. But surprised? Unfortunately not. These past seven years there long have been suspicions that politics shaped the National Park Service’s position on snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park. Those suspicions gained tremendous weight when I talked with Fran Mainella, who a little over a year ago resigned from her position as director of the National Park Service. During her six years in office Ms. Mainella refused to call for a ban on snowmobiling in Yellowstone, even when two environmental impact studies and an environment assessment pointed to snow coaches as the environmentally preferred alternative for motorized winter recreation in the park. Now, though, she’s changed her position and believes science should be the final measure when it comes to deciding if snowmobiles are appropriate for Yellowstone’s resources, its wildlife, visitors, and even employees. She made that change publicly known recently when she decided to join seven other former Park Service directors in asking Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to oppose an increase in snowmobile use in Yellowstone and to favor snow coaches for winter motorized recreation in the park. MAINELLA: Part of what I was trying to do was just again further reinforce the importance of the science and making sure that we rely on the science. Anyone making a decision has multiple factors that come to play. Access is an important part. There’s the other considerations, visitor services and all these other things that we’re responsible for in the National Park Service. But what I was just trying to encourage was when all is said and done is that the science, taking care of the resource has to be the predominant force. That’s really it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have snowmobiles in there. That isn’t what I was saying. I’m just saying as a former national park service director to help just further reinforce the fact that it is important that we just stay to the science. KURT: Of course, Ms. Mainella's latest view begs the question of why she didn't hold that position during her tenure as director. When I reached Ms. Mainella at Clemson University, where she’s a visiting scholar, she explained that as Park Service director she did not hold the final decision on snowmobiling in Yellowstone. MAINELLA: All I can say is that those decisions, I chose to have my discussions in the 'house' of the Department of Interior, so whether I agreed or disagreed was reflected in those meetings. Once a decision was made by the Department of Interior, I did come out and speak on behalf (of it) because I felt that was my responsibility in the position (as Park Service director). KURT: When I pressed her a bit later on whether she supported the science of those environmental studies conducted during her tenure, as she now says the Park Service and Interior Department should do in the saga’s latest chapter, Ms. Mainella had this to say: MAINELLA: We helped develop the new snow coaches to further enhance the improvement of snow-coach use in the national parks. Those were some of the things that we were able to do. But again, all I can tell you is that those decisions were decided at a level beyond our office. A pay grade higher than mine. KURT: Of course, Ms. Mainella’s newfound position begs another question: What does current Park Service Director Mary Bomar really favor in Yellowstone? When I sat down with her back in October she, too, voiced support for letting science guide on-the-ground decisions. BOMAR: When I came into the National Park Service, I didn't realize the in-depth that the good stewards in the national parks went to. Often, we'd be accused of studying things to death. If you didn't like the answer we'll do another study. But I will say over time that I've come to really appreciate that, that we make good decisions based on good information. KURT: Despite those words, don’t you still wonder whether science or politics are guiding snowmobiles in Yellowstone? SOUND: Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park. KURT: At the National Parks Traveler, I’m Kurt Repanshek
3 minutes | Nov 19, 2007
NPT 14 : Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
A 3 minute video postcard from a recent visit to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas. I had the privilege of visiting this unit of the parks recently. Park interpreters led a tour of the historic house and barn, followed later by a bus tour of the prairie. I happened to be on the very last bus tour of the season, the next one won't be until April. The park itself is pretty remote. I was traveling through Wichita and decided to take the side trip. The park is approximately 90 miles (one-way) from Wichita. Considering the drive consumed 3 hours of my time (round trip), I am glad I made the trip, it was worth it to see the area. Kansas isn't nearly as flat as I had thought it would be. Credits -- Photography, Edits - Jeremy Sullivan Music - John Fleagle, "Da Day Dawn", Magnatune.com Special Thanks - Julie Miller - Interpreters of the Tallgrass Prairie
5 minutes | Oct 24, 2007
NPT 13 : Olympic National Park; Lake Quinault
Take a few minutes out of your day and enjoy a 5 minute video tour of the Lake Quinault region of Olympic National Park. We start with a look at the historic Lake Quinault Lodge. Manager Dave Huber gives us a look around and describes some of the more interesting aspects of the lodge's past. Next, we catch up with Roger Blain, a former ranger with the Park Service, he now provides interpretive tours of the area with the lodge. Roger leads us through the Maple Glade trail, a short nature loop near the lake that contains quite a lot of green hanging moss and lush sword fern. Along the way, we catch sight of an Osprey, Roosevelt Elk, and even a couple Banana Slugs. The video for this production was shot in early June, 2007.
6 minutes | Oct 2, 2007
NPT 12 : Port Chicago Naval Magazine as Park
Eugene Sayles survived the terrible explosion at Port Chicago on the night of July 17, 1944, but many of his colleagues did not. Located near San Francisco California, the Port Chicago Naval Magazine was a place where ordinance was transferred from rail cars to ships during World War II for operations in the Pacific. A small fire led first to a small explosion then 6 seconds later, a massive explosion that was felt up to 500 miles away. The explosion was the largest U.S. home front disaster during World War II, killing 320 men, 202 of whom were African American. The explosion, work stoppage, and subsequent mutiny trial provide insights into the injustice of racial discrimination, the African American experience in the US military, and home front life during the Second World War. These events ultimately led to the desegregation of the armed services in the United States. It is for these reasons that the site is now being considered before Congress as a site to be preserved unimpaired, managed by the National Park Service In this program, we hear from Eugene Sayles, a survivor of the accident; US Congressmen Grijalva and George Miller; Dr Robert Allen, noted book author; and Neal Desai of the National Parks Conservation Association.
2 minutes | Sep 7, 2007
NPT 11 : Soundscape : Bandelier's Frijoles Creek
Take a minute to relax next to the cascading waters of Frijoles Creek in Bandelier National Monument. This short recording was made under the shade of the trees along the picnic road next to the creek. You'll be able to hear some birds chirping along, as well as a child's call about half-way through. And while it is anything but quiet, I think this is the type of natural soundscape that draws people out of the cities in search of the "peace and quiet" found in our national parks. This podcast was inspired by a website I've just recently stumbled across called 'quiet american'. I like very much the section called 'one-minute vacations'.
11 minutes | Aug 24, 2007
NPT 10 : Voices from the Hill : Secretary Kempthorne on Centennial
Secretary Kempthorne: "this is a giant leap for the National Park Service" You can hear it in his voice, can't you? Dirk Kempthorne is excited. The Secretary of the Interior announced today a list of 201 projects that are eligible for funding in the first year of the Centennial Initiative. The program could add as much as $2 Billion in new programs and projects for the parks, and $1 Billion for park operations over 10 years. In his remarks that follow, you can hear Mr. Kempthorne crow a little bit at the early success of the program, especially as it relates to the provision of the Centennial Challenge which depends on non-federal dollars for success. Critics of that aspect of the program, including us at the National Parks Traveler, had wondered if fundraising $100 million a year would be possible. The Secretary was quite happy to inform us today that the goal has been exceeded, and that he has commitments for $301 Million for projects in fiscal years 08 and 09. Aware of those who caution against bowing to private demands, Kempthorne notes that donors recognize this as philanthropy, not branding. These programs he say, herald a new era of revilalization for the parks.
18 minutes | Aug 14, 2007
NPT 9 : A Park Remark : Nancy Bandley and Park Passport Stamps
At the new National Parks Traveler, Kurt Repanshek and I have as a goal to provide original multimedia content about our parks. It's an advantage of the web that we can bring you audio and video programs from time to time. As part of an ongoing series, we'll provide interviews with folks who have special insight on the parks. Today I have a conversation with Nancy Bandley. Nancy has accomplished something very few others have done, she has visited every single unit of the National Park Service, all 391 of them. On her travels to the parks, she collects park passport stamps, and is very involved in a large community of folks who do the same. When she's not on the road traveling, she has found time to write a series of articles about travel to Alaska's National Parks for our website. If you've ever collected those little stamps in the Visitor Center, I think you'll enjoy what Nancy's got to share today.
9 minutes | Aug 3, 2007
Audio From the Hill : Mary Bomar
Nearly one year ago, on the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service that Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, while visiting Yellowstone National Park, introduced a program which would bring upwards of $3 Billion dollars in new funds for our parks. The ambitious program, called the Centennial Challenge, is geared to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Park Service in 2016. Over the last year, the National Park Service has conducted listening sessions around the country, and talked with their parks to figure out the best programs on which to spend this money. We are expected to hear which programs have been selected at the end of this month, I'm guessing it will be on the 25th, on the 91st anniversary of the Park Service, and one year after the program was announced. Congress has not yet approved the Centennial Initiative yet. Yesterday, the National Park Service, represented by director Mary Bomar, and other groups met in subcommittee hearings for both the House and the Senate to answer questions regarding the program. The audio from the Hill is of the Senate hearing. The complete hearing was 90 minutes long. I have selected only a select few questions from Senators to Director Bomar for this program. We hear first from the chairman of the Senate Subcomittee on National Parks, Senator Daniel Akaka, Democrat from Hawaii. We will also hear from Senator Richard Burr, Republican from North Carolina, and also Senator John Barrasso, the newly appointed Republican Senator from Wyoming.
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